I’m a completionist who loves the rainbow, so I couldn’t branch out in ink brands until after I completed the rainbow in one brand. Here are the six Diamine inks I chose: Poppy Red, Orange, Sunshine Yellow, Apple Glory, Aqua Blue, and Lavender.
If you’re looking to get started, my first recommendation is to go into your local pen store, Vanness. They are super nice and friendly. We also have a local art supply store, Art Outfitters. After that, check out Jetpens and Goulet Pens.
May I recommend the Jinhao 450 as a great first pen!
Since I had a yellow ink and a blue ink, it made sense to me to try mixing my own green, and it looked lovely for a few pages, but then the color got really weird as it processed through the pens with different mixed amounts and sort of ended up looking like the color of dread grass. No so gorgeous. I decided I’d have to buy my own green, and put that one on the back burner. I had the idea that it would be neat to have a set of clear pens, so you could see what color the ink was inside it. When I went back to Vanness for my second visit, I picked out Diamine’s Poppy Red and I bought a Preppy with a converter. I wanted to have the three primary colors before getting the secondary colors.
Since I was given my first pen and I’d purchased my first journal, it was time to buy some ink. I went to our local pen shop, Vanness. They were super nice! There were inks priced at $9, $15, and $30. I picked the $15 Diamine inks because I knew I would eventually want to get the whole rainbow, and the $9 inks weren’t available in all the colors. For my first purchase I chose Diamine Sunshine Yellow and Diamine Aqua Blue. (I like really bold, punchy colors but they have more subdued, refined choices too!)
Being interested in pens, for me, is about being able to make visual art with written words. If you needed any proof that this is possible, please check out King Blotto III.
Did you know that there’s a local pen club that hosts an annual pen show here in Little Rock? The show happens every year in February and I was fortunate enough to attend, having only just discovered pens right before it happened!
For Valentine’s Day this year, my boyfriend gave me my first fountain pen. It’s a Jinhao 450 with a rubber grip and a medium nib. The body is marbled black and green. He filled it up for me with a gorgeous vivid blue, Turquoise Ku-Jaku by Pilot, and sent me home on my plane. I wrote the entire time, three flights with connections, discovering that my graph paper notebook worked well for writing him a letter. When I got home I bought myself a Leuchtturm journal, purple, lined. Did you know they come paginated? So lovely.